Update: BBC - US shale oil supply shock shifts global power balance

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    May 02, 2013 2:49 PM GMT

    The United States has double the amount of oil and three times the amount of natural gas than previously thought, stored deep under the states of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana, according to new data the Obama administration released Tuesday. . . . The formations, called Bakken and Three Forks, span much of western North Dakota, the northern tip of South Dakota and the northeastern tip of Montana. The last time the United States Geological Survey assessed this area for its oil and gas reserves was in 2008. But that assessment did not include the Three Forks formation, which explains the substantial increase in the estimates. USGS estimates that these two formations together hold 7.4 billion barrels of undiscovered—but technically recoverable—oil and 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
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    May 02, 2013 3:41 PM GMT

    Maybe, maybe not. But the immediate impact on Russia should not be underestimated. Vladimir Putin’s plans for reclaiming Great Power status for Russia are predicated on the country’s continuing strong economic performance, and the energy sector is key. Gazprom accounts for more than 10 percent of the country’s exports, and hits to its bottom line this year, the WSJ speculates, will cause Russia to miss Putin’s target of 5 percent annual growth.

    Putin’s hardball tactics in his near-abroad when Russia was energy top dog were instrumental in confirming him as an authoritarian bully in the minds of many Westerners. These tactics also inadvertently made Russia more vulnerable to shifts in the global energy market, with many of its main customers desperately seeking out alternative suppliers so that they would never find themselves backed into a corner again. So it’s easy to join the Bulgarians in gloating over this reversal.

    But everything in moderation. As we’ve said before, a cagey, resentful and frustrated Russia facing economic decline and increasing powerlessness on the world stage is good for no one at all.
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    May 15, 2013 11:02 AM GMT
    And that's a good thing even if some anti-science extremists will stop at nothing to prevent fracking from happening.


    A steeper-than-expected rise in US shale oil reserves is about to change the global balance of power between new and existing producers, a report says.

    Over the next five years, the US will account for a third of new oil supplies, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    The US will change from the world's leading importer of oil to a net exporter.

    Demand for oil from Middle-East oil producers is set to slow as a result.

    "North America has set off a supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world," said IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven.